Oil on panel almost photographic painting of a Navajo or Hispanic couple seated in a hogan or rustic interior, 20" by 27 3/4" (27 1/2" by 35 1/2" as framed in dark stained oak), signed at lower right "ALDER AUSTIN" or "ALDER AUSTER", with a copyright symbol adjacent. The work is beautifully executed by an obviously trained hand. Surprisingly I have not been able to locate biographical information on the artist, unless I have misread the signature. (Please let me know if you are familiar with the artist and his paintings). The work probably dates to the 1970's to 1980's. The authentic details of their humble dwelling and clothing have been most carefully and sympathetically observed and respected by the artist. The couple stares intently at the viewer---the difficulties they face in their daily lives are reflected in their faces; we feel we know them; these are not just portraits. Perhaps the man is a cowboy. My inclination is that they are of Navajo heritage, or perhaps Navajo and Hispanic mixed. The painting would be an interesting acquisition for anyone with a Southwest or Santa Fe New Mexican style interior. The condition is very good save for a small scratch near the man's head, and a light abrasion at upper right, and overall soiling consistent with roughly 30 years of age.
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